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tv   Judge Neil Gorsuch on Ironies of the Law  CSPAN  February 1, 2017 6:49am-7:01am EST

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mr. president, i'm honored and i'm humbled. thank you very much. [applause] announcer: president trump's supreme court pick talked about
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the ironies of law at an event ist societyhe federal in 2013. you are look. >> without question firing -- without question, the codifying -- today we have about 5000 federal statutes on the books, most of them added in the last decades. -- literally hundreds are added each year. neither does that begin to account the additional regulatory crimes buried in the federal register. or are so many in the fine print, scholars have given up counting and are now debating number. joe biden worried we have assumed a tendency to federalize
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quote everything that walks, talks, and moves. to useow a federal crime the likeness of woodsy the owl or his immortal words, give a pollute.t lobster tails in plastic bags rather than cardboard boxes can be charged. mattress sellers who removed that little tag? yes, they are probably federal criminals, too. there appears to be a ratchet relentlessly clicking away always in favor of more, never fewer, federal laws. some argue it is not out of proportion to our population and its growth. others say it could be mitigated to beowing a law defense more widely asserted. it is very troubled irony looking hair. -- withouttten laws
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-- with too many written laws, don't we invite a problem? what happens to freedom and equality whitney law comes to covers 70 facets of daily life that prosecutors can almost choose their targets with impunity? our culture positively buzzes with cynicism about the law, our shared profession. so many see law as the work of rogue hacks and shiny-suited shills. judges who will buy personal policy preference. lawyers who seek to russell and dazzle. dazzle -- razzle dazzle. have in a dark moment, you fallen prey to this yourself. but i think there might just be
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cynicalecured by the shadow. i wondered cynicism flourishes only so freely because of all of its blemishes, the rule of law successful that sometimes it is hard to see. i wonder if we are like david foster wallace's fish, surrounded by water yet somehow itsle to appreciate existence. or like chesterton's man on the street who is asked out of the blue why he prefers civilization to barbarism and has a hard time stammering out a reply because of the very multiplicity of proof which should make it easy impossible. now, the cynicism surrounding our profession is easy to see. the supreme court justices try to explain their job of interpreting legal text. when the invoke and echoed the federalist conception of a good judge they are mocked.
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personally.sly and leading media voices call them deceiving that behind their base besides reside crimson partisans. professors accuse them of pecuniary. actual quotes. if this sketch was accurate, if i believed lawyers and judges regularly acted as shills and hacks, i would hang up my robe and turn it my license. i do not think that is what a life in the law it is about and i don't think you do, either. as a working lawyer i saw time and again the creativity, intelligence, hard work applied to a legal problem to make a profound difference in a client's life. i saw judges and juries both
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human and imperfect striving to earnestly and impartially decide. i never felt my decisions were political but based on interpretive techniques. prosaic but vital stuff of the life of the law. as a judge now for seven whatever years, i see colleagues every day striving to enforce the constitution. the statute passed. the president's that bind us. sometimes they do so with quiet misgivings about the wisdom and regulation that issue. sometimes with concern about the complicity in a doubtful statute. in enforcing the law all the same. believing that ours is essentially a just legal order. laws of cohan discipline, do not mean to suggest that every hard legal question has a single right
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answer. that some absolute truth exists for every crazy, not a statute. if only we had the superhuman power to discern it. i do not know about you, but i do not know many judges who resemble some kind of legal hercules. maybe michael boss byron white, but how many of us are going to lead the nfl in rushing? when a lawyer declares absolute metaphysical certainty about some chain of grammatical run-on tacked onto a sentence buried in some sprawling statutory subsection, i start to worry. those, myons like only gospel is skepticism but i try not to make a dogma out of it. but to admit the disagreement does and will always exist over hard questions like that does not mean our disagreements are matters of personal well or honests rather than an
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effort to make sense of the legal materials at hand. the very first case i made for the 10th circuit involved statutory construction and the court stood 5-4. justice breyer wrote to a farm. he was joined by justices thomas, ginsburg, alito, and sotomayor. dissentedice robinson and was joined by stevens, scalia, and kennedy. that is a lineup the public does not often hear about but it is the sort of thing that happens quietly day in and day out and courts throughout our country. as you know, the legal cynic overlooks the vast majority in our courts in which all judges agree. the intense focus on a few cases where we disagree severs from a serious selection problem. over 90% of the decisions issued by my core dark unanimous and typicalplit -- pretty and appellate courts.
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40% are unanimous in appellate those, to, even though faced tough charges and nine, not three have to agree in every single dispute. the supreme court rate of dissent has been relatively stable for 97 euros. you do not hear that. despite the fact that back in 1945, 8 of the nine judges had been appointed by a single president and today's sitting judges were appointed by five different presidents. announcer: judge neil gorsuch was born in denver and is 49-years-old. he is a 1991 graduate of harvard law school. he clerked for justices white and kennedy and has been on the 10th circuit court of appeals since 2006. onthe senate committee environment and public works will consider the nominees a -- the nomination of attorney general scott pruitt to be the next epa administrator
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today. you can see that live at 10:45 a.m. eastern on c-span3. you can also watch it live on or listen on our c-span radio. c-span senatethe judiciary committee votes on senator jeff sessions nomination to be attorney general. on it live at 10:30 a.m. c-span two. announcer: c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was graded as a public service by america's cable television companies and is prior to today by your cable or satellite provider. >> live today on c-span, washington journal is next. at 10:00 a.m. eastern, the house returns for general speeches. at noon, members take up the disapproval of the interior department's protection role and disapprove ofe to
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the sec role requiring oil and gas companies to disclose governments.oreign coming up in just over one hour, a look at president trump's pick to fill the supreme court with bloomberg news supreme court reporter. president trump: today, i am keeping other promise to the american people by dominating judge neil gorsuch of the united states supreme court to be of the united states spring court. court.ed states supreme ♪ a candidate who comes from the same school of thought as antonin scalia appeared we will learn more about the judge today. we want to get


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